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No Pedals, No Steering Wheel, No Problem: GM Aims to Bring Cruise AV Public by 2019

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Fourth-Generation Cruise AV

General Motors on Friday revealed that it has filed a Safety Petition with the Department of Transportation for the fourth-gen Cruise AV, which will become the world’s first production vehicle to be manufactured from the ground up with no steering wheel, pedals, or manual controls. If permission is granted by the DoT, the self-driving Cruise AV will be put to use for GM’s ride-hailing services by 2019.

According to Automotive News, General Motors seeks a waiver of 16 Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards that would otherwise not apply to a vehicle built to operate without a driver. If the DoT accepts GM’s request, it is expected that as many as 2,500 Cruise AVs will be put forth to create a dedicated fleet for ride-hailing purposes.

First Look: The Fourth-Gen Cruise Autonomous Vehicle

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General Motors describes the fourth-gen Cruise AV—in a manner eerily similar to Kyle Reese’s description of a Terminator—in its 2018 Self-Driving Safety Report:

“Our self-driving vehicle is the result of intensely focused development, and countless hours of real-world testing and validation. It doesn’t drink and drive, doesn’t text and drive, doesn’t get upset, doesn’t get tired, never gets distracted, and doesn’t produce any emissions.”

General Motors Cruise AV Hill

The Cruise AV, based on the Chevrolet Bolt, utilizes five LiDARs, 16 cameras, and 21 radars—including articulating radars, long-range radars, and short-range radars—to ensure capabilities in complex environments. Per GM, the Cruise AV was developed to comply with NHTSA’s 12 safety elements for self-driving vehicles laid out in its Automated Driving Systems 2.0—A Vision for Safety voluntary guidance, including vehicle cybersecurity, crashworthiness, consumer education and training, and minimal risk condition (or safe-state fallback).

General Motors Cruise AV Interior

The Cruise AV is co-developed with Cruise Automation, the San Francisco startup acquired by GM in March 2016 for $1 billion. Per a statement from October, the Cruise AV will begin testing in New York sometime this year, with testing already underway in Scottsdale, Arizona; San Francisco, California; and Michigan.

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News Source: Automotive News (subscription required)